Dr. Martin Weber

Senior Lecturer in International Relations, School of Political Science and International Studies, POLSIS, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia

18 June until 15 September 2018

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann

Funded by Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe University Frankfurt in cooperation with Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften


Martin Weber's main research clusters are in International Social and Political Theory, and in PE/IPE. In the former field, his work has focussed on the contributions of Critical Theory to developments in normative International Political Theory, and to the 'social turn' in IR theory in general. His research in this field, which overlaps with his interests in International Political Economy, has been published in key journals (European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Alternatives, Globalizations), as well as in contributions to edited volumes. In PE/IPE, his work has focussed on the political analysis of global governance, and in particular on global health governance and global environmental governance. The former deals with competing political visions and agencies regarding health care provision, the latter specifically on problems of integrating trade- and environmental governance. He is currently finishing on a monograph on 'Critical Theory and Global Political Ecology.

Research project title:
Moral Grammars in International Political Theory: Beyond positionalist methods and analytics

Research abstract:
This project builds on a series of research articles (Weber, 2012; 2014A; 2014B, 2015) that have dealt with different aspects of the social-philosophical implications of IR theory’s turn to sociological analytical inventories under the constructivist heading. In this paper, I take some of the insights and criticisms developed in the previous work further, and into the direction of explicating the contours of a relationally reconceptualised International Political Theory. The article comprises three main parts: The critical-reconstructive first part traces the implications of what I call the positional orientation of classical political theory in IR theorizing; focusing on the construal of ‘rule’ in this mode, I demonstrate how the positional orientation structures both, mainstream constructivist research outlooks, as well as a surprisingly wide range of heterodox approaches.
The second part of the article deals with the literature that has registered some discontent with this, focusing specifically on attempts to pad out the register of recognition, more reflexive approaches to questions of legitimacy, and instances of the increasingly more self-conscious deployment in International Political Theory of the language of the relational. Again focusing on how ‘rule’ is construed in such contexts, I show that by failing to explicate the constrictive conceptual implications carried along, these attempts too fall short of making good on the promises of relational analysis.
The third part spells through the constructive possibilities of construing ‘rule’ on the basis of a more thoroughly conceptualized relational political theory. To make such a move plausible, I draw on the social-ontological premises underpinning recognition-theory.

Research project title:
Valuing Nature: Political Economy and Politics of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Research abstract:
The 2007 Potsdam G8+5 Summit provided the platform for Environment Ministers from the participating governments to call for analytical tools to assess the economic value implications of biodiversity, and ecological systems integrity. In response, the TEEB was created, with the objective to provide a comprehensive approach to “recognizing, demonstrating and capturing” the value(s) of biomes (ecosystems) and biodiversity. An ambitious framework, built on explicated premises about economy and ecology, the TEEB is currently in its ‘mainstreaming’ phase (III), aimed at implementing the tools developed through its pilot studies at project and country-policy level.
In this article, I first situate the TEEB within the broader context of initiatives aimed at establishing, strengthening, and mainstreaming what I frame as elements of an aspirational ‘Global Ecological Economic Governance” (e.g. the World Bank’s WAVE and WAVE+ approaches, Natural Capital Accounting, etc.). I argue that the TEEB, due to the more self-consciously conceptual approach it takes, in comparison with the more incrementalist ones typical in this field to date, provides an opportunity to critically investigate the limitations of the proposed valuing tools, the policies they engender, and political ecological implications they may inadvertently produce.
I demonstrate the latter with examples from agricultural biodiversity trends, and conclude by demonstrating the TEEB approach fails to take adequately into account both, the ecological and the political conditions of co-producing valuing.

Furthermore Dr. Martin Weber is working on the Collaborative Research Project: "Namibian-German Relations and Normative Challenges: Beyond the Constrictions of International Development and International Relations?" with Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann and Dr. Heloise Weber.
For further information: Click here...

Publications (selection):
- Weber, Martin (2015) On the history and politics of the social turn. Review of International Studies, 41 4: 693-714. doi:10.1017/S0260210515000200
- Devetak, Richard, Kaempf, Sebastian and Weber, Martin (2013) Conversations in International Relations: interview with Andrew Linklater. International Relations, 27 4: 481-505. doi:10.1177/0047117813502504
- Weber, Martin (2013) As if 'relations' mattered: how to subvert positional bias in social science with a lot of help from 'others'. Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought. doi:10.1080/23269995.2013.805513
- Mols, Frank and Weber, Martin (2013) Laying sound foundations for social identity theory-inspired European Union attitude research: beyond attachment and deeply rooted identities. Journal of Common Market Studies, 51 3: 505-521. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5965.2012.02316.x
- Weber, Martin (2013) 'It's over; I've seen it on TV': Occupy's politics beyond media spectacle. Global Change, Peace and Security, 25 1: 123-126. doi:10.1080/14781158.2013.758094
- Weber, Martin (2013) Between "isses" and "oughts": IR constructivism, Critical Theory, and the challenge of political philosophy. European Journal of International Relations, 20 2: 516-543. doi:10.1177/1354066112466573
- Weber, Martin (2012) Review of Applying political theory: Issues and debates. Political Science, 64 1: 84-85. doi:10.1177/0032318712442175
- Weber, Martin (2012) Ontologies, depth, and otherwise: Critical notes on Wight's meta-theoretical proposal of a scientific realist IR. Review of International Studies, 38 1: 223-234. doi:10.1017/S0260210511000659

Events:
Fellowkolloquium
Namibian-German Relations and Normative Challenges: Beyond the Constrictions of International Development and International Relations?
28 June 2018, 11 am. For further information: Click here...

Seminar
"De-centring IR: Towards the Critique of Global Development and Political Ecology"
2 - 6 July 2018, at Goethe-University. For further information: Click here...

Masterclass
"Political Ecology and World Politics"
5 July 2018, 9.30 am - 12 pm and 6 July 2018, 2.30 pm - 5 pm at Goethe-University. For further information: Click here...


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